What Makes the Buick Enclave the Better Mid-Size SUV?
The Buick Enclave has been around for 10 years and now in its second generation. It shares the same body platform as the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia which is why they look a bit similar in size and shape. But, the Enclave is meant to be an affordable luxury mid-size SUV for anyone who wants luxury and space all in one. Made to compete with the rest of the world's manufacturers, the Enclave finds itself against the famed Acura MDX and Dodge Durango. But, what makes it better than these two? I shall further explain.
In the looks department, the Enclave is a bit lackluster compared to the MDX and Durango. It has a pretty "face" but that is it. In its entirety, it is just a big, bulky block of metal with some curvy lines and smooth edges. Maybe for some, its attractive shape is plenty enough to look at twice. Compared to the styling of the MDX and Durango, it is beaten to a pulp. That goes without saying, though, that it is much nicer looking than other models out there. I just think that the Enclave could look a bit sharper and edgier. If that is even possible. But, to each their own.
The interior of the Enclave makes up for the outside in every aspect. Not only has it been given a splash of luxury comparative to that of a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but an abundance of space. The paneling, trim, and layout is what everyone should desire in a mid-size SUV. I don't want to compare this to the Durango here. I want to compare this to the Acura MDX. For a brand that is supposed to be a luxury division by Honda, the Acura MDX falls short in the interior styling department. I cannot say the same for the Durango at this moment. But, I shall refer back to it in the future. On a scale of 1-10, I rate the interior of the Enclave as Stelvio. Yes, that was read correctly. I love the interior design as much as I love the Alfa Romeo Stelvio's interior. What I like more about the interior of the Enclave is the space compared to the MDX. The captain's chairs help with spacing but even if they were bench seats, it would still have just as much room. But, what the people did over in the Buick factory was that they have made a little cove underneath the center console where it looks like the passenger can place things like magazines for leisurely reading. One last thing I loved as much as there is space is the comfort the seats brought me. Buick has continued keeping the seats we sit in as comfortable as possible for the best price. Some vehicles make cars so cheap that it could be felt by just looking at the price tag. No SUV has given me this much comfort and support that I have been in.
But, what else does the Encalve come with? This model, priced at $43,380 offers plenty compared to the MDX. For safety, this Enclave comes with 7 airbags including roof-rail airbags, passenger sensing system, OnStar, rear-vision camera with cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, lane change alert, blind-spot assist, electronic traction control, StabiliTrak which is a fancy word for stability control, and traction control. From the US government, the Enclave received a "5 Star" overall safety score. It only scored "4 Stars" in 2 categories: front passenger and rollover. Everything else is "5 Stars." For convenience, the Enclave has 6 USB ports, 4G-LTE Wi-Fi hot-spot, heated front bucket seats with the driver seat powered, telescopic steering wheel, 60/40 split rear 3rd row seats, controls on the steering wheel, BlueTooth connectivity, navigation, a in-vehicle air purifying system, QuietTuning to keep outside noise down to a bare minimum, and remote start. This is not a terrible price compared to the MDX.
One of the best parts of the Buick Enclave is the performance that it brings to the table. Sure, it is big and bulky like I said, but that doesn't mean it can't get to 60 miles an hour quickly. It gets to the 60 mile an hour mark in around 7 seconds with its 3.6L 310 horse-powered V6 sending power to the front wheels. Yes, this model is a front-wheel driven mid-size SUV. That is indeed taken into review later on, but this is not the time. Getting to 60 though seemed quick. But, I couldn't believe it when I planted my foot down hard on the throttle, let the Enclave accelerate, check the speedometer, and noticed the speed I was at. Steering is light and the suspension doesn't make the 4,500+ pound Enclave feel heavy whatsoever. Not only that, but the ride comfort is just as good as the seats. Bumps and potholes are no match for the Enclave. Fuel economy is not so bad. In the time I had it, (about a day) I was able to manage, with my driving habits, about 20 miles to the gallon. So, that is close to the sticker saying 18 mpg in the city, 26 miles to the gallon on the highway, and 21 miles per gallon combined. One last thing about performance that the Enclave offers is the towing capacity. Trailering provisions say 1,500 pounds while the gross vehicle weight rating says 6,160 pounds. That is in case anyone is interested in knowing that information.
So, would I get myself a Buick Enclave? Definitely not this one. I would pay the extra money for the panoramic roof, all-wheel drive, and probably the gold-ish looking color Buick offers. The price is quite reasonable compared to the rest of the competition. The only thing I have a problem with is the curves and exterior design. But, like always, I forgot I was in a Buick when I got inside. Ignoring the steering wheel emblem that I mean. The Enclave has a blandish kind-of exterior, but it is as sporty as a SUV could be with the luxury interior styling of a BMW or Mercedes-Benz. The MDX and Durango are not comparable to what the Enclave offers when it comes to interior decor and space for the price.
I would like to take a moment and thank Burns Buick for allowing me to use their vehicle for this review. I appreciate their cooperation and professionalism.
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